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Aquaponics Association news, Food Safety, and 2014 Conference

Discussion in 'Notice Board' started by stoutmtc, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. stoutmtc

    stoutmtc New Member

    Sep 10, 2011
    Just wanted to pass along that the two-year-old Aquaponics Association held elections again this September. The new executive board is:

    Chair: Meg Stout (me, Virginia)
    Vice Chair: Adam Cohen of Green Phoenix Farms (Texas)
    Secretary: Astrid Hartleb of Greenview Aquaponics (Florida)
    Treasurer: Rob Torcellini of Bigelow Brooks Farm (Connecticut)

    Our primary focus is proving that food grown in aquaponic systems is safe, to provide the data that will allow GLOBAL G.A.P. and GFSI to certify aquaponic food as safe.
    Proving aquaponics is safe would allow farms to sell to all retailers (most large retailers currently require GLOBAL G.A.P. or GFSI certification). Our current guesstimate is this initial survey will cost $200,000-$500,000 USD, so looking to do some major fundraising. This should not be something that aquaponic farmers/growers will pay for out of their personal pockets. Aside from being too much for our small industry, it would be suspect if not performed by independent researchers. The awesome thing is preliminary research indicates we should be able to demonstrate safe food production easily as long as growers adhere to basic good handling practices and good agricultural practices.

    A short list of our strategic goals for 2014 are:

    • Aquaponic Food Safety Certification
    • Educate consumers regarding aquaponics
    • Strengthen message about environmental benefits of aquaponics
    • Engage members and prospective members in vibrant dialogue

    We're also looking for proposals for the 2014 conference location and concept. Our past conferences have been in Florida, Colorado, and Arizona in the US. Since the vast majority of our current membership is in the US, we're probably going to stay there for the near-term future. To that end, we'll be putting out a survey to inform those interesting in proposing to hold the conference in their region what the aquaponics community wants to see/do/experience. I'll also post information on how to submit a proposal here in this thread soon.
  2. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    Excellent Meg.
    I hope you can steer the AA to new heights.

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